I never needed a vehicle ramp for Jessie in her elder years, although I did build a handicap ramp for the front porch. I was so proud of that ramp. I'm not exactly what you'd call the "handy" type, but I couldn't stand to watch her struggle with the 3 or 4 steps to the front door. Covered with indoor/outdoor carpet, that ramp worked like a charm, and I could tell she appreciated it. Accessibility was never an issue with the car, however. The Subaru wagon I had then was fairly low anyway, and Jessie developed a method of putting her front paws on the threshold and waiting for me to gently lift her back end up into the hatch area.
But Lucky would never do that. If I tried to teach him such a thing, he'd be convinced I was trying to kill him. Different dog. So, we've almost ordered the ramp a dozen times, but always stopped short. Would it be worth the cost? Would it be too heavy and unwieldy to be practical? Would he even use it if we got it? This is a dog that approaches every new experience with suspicion and dread.
Finally though, we took the plunge and ordered the XL heavy duty ramp from Foster and Smith. When it comes right down to it, what's $150 compared to the cost of orthopedic surgery? A little dose of prevention just seemed worth the gamble.
So finally, the big moment was at hand. I was surprised how easy it was to handle, and pleased with the wide, non-skid surface. Not surprisingly, Lady scrambled right up the ramp with just a little encouragement. Lucky...well, we got him up, but it took some doing.
Here you can see Lady eagerly awaiting the next bit of adventure ("shall I came down now? would you like me to come down?"), and Lucky huddled in the farthest recesses of the truck, hoping we'll forget he's there.
So, a little practice was in order.
When facing any challenge, it's important to have the right mindset. For Lucky, this involves shifting his mindset from "this is a horrible experience that's going to kill me" to "oh boy, this is fun!" Lots of smiles, clapping and happy voices are involved. Come on Lucky, you can do it!
Yaaaaaaaaaay!!! Good boy!!! Yaaaaay!!
All ready for the next adventure!! A bit safer now for the old guy.